By MIKE VASAVADA, DIRECTOR OF MOBILITY SOLUTIONS, MOBIDDICTION
Many businesses are still trying to provide customers with the best possible solutions via their desktop websites, but mobile has added a new level of complexity to it.
The technology and the platforms used are unique in many ways and mobile, as a channel, cannot be ignored anymore. Here’s a number of ways mobile can assist in growing your business or brand.
Your business might be missing out
Leveraging the growth in mobile doesn’t have to be a large scale, big budget initiative. There are ways to leverage mobile apps and mobile solutions for small-to-medium enterprises too.
It’s a matter of identifying and prioritising your current business processes and determining if they are laborious, task intensive or require manual intervention. There might also be some process or function, which your business would absolutely benefit from by going mobile. It’s crucial to put a clear ROI model in place and it is most likely that you are already able to measure the percentage of traffic you are missing out on by not having a mobile strategy or experience in place.
To give you an idea, Google announced in September last year that:
- There were about 675,000 apps and games in the Google Play store and it had reached over 25 billion downloads.
- Android users download more than 1.5 billion apps and games from Google Play each month.
- Apple had more than 800,000 apps available on the app store with more than 1.5 million books available on the iBookstore.
Mobile applications are very popular and are quickly becoming a part of every business strategy. Since a bigger number of customers favour mobile devices, many organisations are looking to increase their customer engagement, create brand value and provide utility through the mobile as a channel.
Making use of it
Here are a few ways your business can make use of mobile, be it through apps or business mobility solutions:
1. Business efficiency via mobile
These mobile solutions could focus on boosting the overall growth of your business by improving efficiency and increasing productivity. A quick example that comes to mind is GoToMeeting by Citrix, an app that helps you save lots of time by providing the convenience of setting online meetings and scheduling events wherever you are and across different mobile platforms.
2. Collaborative apps
This type of app is meant to improve the performance of various departments within an organisation. The productivity apps can be used for effective collaboration between the organisation’s departments in real time, thus saving a lot of productive hours by speeding up decision making processes.
Here are a few examples from around the world:
- Apple has several case studies including that of the Ottawa Hospital in Canada using iPad’s in patient care.
- Canada’s CTV News is using the iPhone and iPad devices for HD reporting.
- PepsiCo, where in the past each driver had to rely on printed schedules, has deployed a mobility solution which works in real-time.
- Carmel Café’ & Wine Bar in Florida has developed a MenuPad app allowing customers to control their dining experience.
- Another app, FusionPrep, developed by 212 Digital Inc., helps the chefs and kitchen staff stay on the same page.
3. Mobile for your business growth
There are a few distinct ways where a single application can leverage business growth and sales. Some apps can now sync your project management tools with your customers’ requirements and provide them with the right user engagement via their mobile devices.
4. Mobile as part of your strategy
Mobile solutions need to work hand in hand with the strategic vision for your business. You need to have a mobile roadmap about what it is that you want your mobile solution to do and how your business can make the best use of going mobile and what your success metrics are.
An industry which has gone leaps and bounds is banking:
- Westpac has announced that technology will play a key role in the overhaul planned for a third of Westpac’s 680 branches over the next three years at a cost of $240 million. This will also see initiatives such as customers being able to access newer technology in the form of Westpac’s iPad app, with tablets available for customer use in the lounge area. Touchscreens will be located in the branches displaying the marketing information, with customers being able to email it to themselves directly.
- ANZ’s goMoney iPhone app now has a reported 750,000 users with five million transactions per month, with both ANZ and Westpac trialing NFC (Near field communication) and contactless payment solutions.
5. Mobile + social = brand loyalty
Mobile is probably the most effective tool to build that one-to-one relationship with your customers.
Be it an app for eBay to track your auction on the go, ordering a pizza on your iPhone app or paying that bill on your mobile, while you’re waiting in the queue, apps can help you take your existing CRM program ahead or potentially be an opportunity to build a new program altogether. Remember that loyalty card that you had to carry when shopping at Myers? Well, it has turned into an app now!
The major takeaways are:
- Stay in control of what benefits mobile is providing to your business.
- Be there for your customers, when they are looking for you or seeking your help via mobile.
- Keep in mind that mobile is a more precisely measurable channel compared to others.
Mobile is THE way to take your business forward! What are your thoughts?